Emirates' ATLG Initiative Seeks to Empower Women for Careers in Technology – Al-Fanar Media

In an effort to enhance women’s chances in the labour market, the United Arab Emirates’ General Women’s Union recently launched the fourth edition of an initiative called ATLG that offers female undergraduate students and recent graduates training in various technology areas.
The fourth batch of participants started their training sessions last month. The initiative is carried out in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Ports Group.
The latest edition offers training in ten technology specialisations, including software development, electronic applications, requirements analysis, application test scenarios writing, testing implementation cases for user interface, integration with applications, system user satisfaction, and script development and implementation.
Fatima Al Dhaheri, a participant in the programme, hopes the training will help her gain expertise in software development. This is a highly sought skills with many job opportunities in the Emirates, given the technological progress in all aspects of life, she said.
Al Dhaheri told Al-Fanar Media, “I highly appreciate this step to support Emirati women, especially graduates, to enable them to occupy jobs that are dominated by men, especially in software.”
Aisha Salem Al-Muhairi, deputy director for industries at the General Women’s Union, said the ATLG initiative is one of several programmes that seek to open the way for Emirati women to obtain senior jobs in the country, in line with efforts to achieve greater gender equality.
“I highly appreciate this step to support Emirati women, especially graduates, to enable them to occupy jobs that are dominated by men, especially in software.”
In its previous editions, the ATLG initiative has contributed to enhancing the work of the Maqta Gateway, the digital arm of the Abu Dhabi Ports Group, through practical training in establishing the group’s online portal, said Al-Muhairi.
The initiative selects trainees on the basis of several criteria, Al-Muhairi said. These include the applicants’ academic performance at university and high school, and their interests in the training sessions’ content, especially in technology.
She also said that the initiative aims to build the practical experiences of female senior-year undergraduate students and fresh graduates so that they can obtain job opportunities in the technical field.
The training presents practical models to help trainees in building parts of the online platforms of a number of government ministries and authorities.
It also offers training in specialties like graphic design, communication skills, brand design, presentations, and using design elements to convey information, Al-Muhairi said.
Other training opportunities include business analytics, which targets the design of systems solutions, business process design, and risk assessment, and data science, which trains participants to analyse and display data and using research methods and artificial intelligence.
There is also a project coordinator specialisation, in which trainees learn to manage, coordinate, plan and report projects. Another specialisation, application security engineer, offers training in how to protect online data and information, and how to search for security vulnerabilities and enhance application security, Al-Muhairi said.
The General Women’s Union is also cooperating with Abu Dhabi University, under a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides earlier, Al-Muhairi said.
The initiative aims to build the practical experiences of female senior-year undergraduate students and recent graduates so they can obtain job opportunities in the technical field, says Aisha Salem Al-Muhairi, deputy director for industries at the General Women’s Union.
“This cooperation between the Union and the university entails the exchange of documents, information, studies, research, and scientific papers,” she said, “in addition to cooperation in conducting studies and research related to the work of the two parties.” 
All Emirati women are members of the General Women’s Union, Al-Muhairi said, which enables them to participate in all its programmes by visiting its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
In its previous three editions, the ATLG initiative has provided more than 32,000 training hours so far, through over 350 sessions. More than 2,000 women have applied for the limited number of training slots available.
On its website, the General Women’s Union says that, since its launch in 2021, the program’s affiliates have obtained more than 95 accredited certificates from Harvard University, and more than 200 accredited certificates from the educational platform Udemy. The overall average of evaluation results at the end of each batch was more than 82 percent.
Hisham Zakaria, dean of the College of Communication at Al Qasimia University in Sharjah, told Al-Fanar Media that the initiative provides a carefully studied model to enhance women’s participation in the labour force, to provide them with job opportunities in fields that were previously dominated by men.
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